Managing the impact of COVID-19 in order to keep businesses up and running, while supporting our people, partners and suppliers remains a number one focus. BDO is taking a range of measures to ensure that we continue to support our clients through these difficult times, not only in the Dutch Caribbean, but globally.
BDO’s interactive map is a global tool that provides an overview of the key measures being introduced by governments in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is compiled from information provided by BDO specialists, for jurisdictions where we have this information. We will continue to build this overview as more information becomes available to us and must stress that the overview is not intended to be fully comprehensive. We are faced with a rapidly evolving situation so the information may not always reflect the most recent developments. BDO contacts and links to official websites are provided accordingly.
For easy reference, please find below the information updated in the Global tool for Curaçao and the BES islands. St. Maarten has only provided extension for the filing due dates for the provisional profit tax return (June 30, 2020) and the income tax return (August 1, 020) so far. We refer to our previous communications and invite you to monitor our jurisdictions in the global tool.
The Tax Authorities recently announced though a Q&A documents on their website (www.belastingdienst.cw) the following:
New filing deadline income tax returns
The Tax Authorities indicated that the invitations to file the income tax returns will be send soon and that the filing deadline will be August 1, 2020.
Automatic extension period to file an objection letter
Generally, objection letters can be filed within 2 months after the date of the tax assessment and a request for extension of payment should be filed within 1 month. However for tax assessments imposed in the period January 1, 2020 up to June 30, 2020, the objection period will be extended to 4 months.
It has not been indicated that the request to obtain extension for payments has also been extended. However, the document of the Tax Authorities indicates that if the request for extension of payment is filed with a copy of the objection letter, then they will process the request for extension of payment.
PROPOSED EMERGENCY SUPPORT MEASURES
The Curaçao Government announced during the press conference of April 3, 2020 that they are planning to introduce various emergency support measures (total of 6 at this time). These emergency measures have been proposed with the aim to maintain employment, taking the consideration of stakeholders into account and the fact that the solidarity should not only come from our partners in the Dutch Kingdom, but also from our people.
The proposed emergency support measures are pending approval of the Dutch Government and are as follows.
- Emergency support package to maintain employees
Compensation between 20% and 80% of the salaries, if the loss of revenue is higher than 25%. The condition adhered to this package is that the company keeps all employees (with indefinite contracts) with the firm.
- Independent entrepreneurs (self-employed)
Compensation of ANG 1,335 per month for small businesses and companies with no employees. Priority is given to businesses that were most affected, such as public transport, hospitality, small businesses and the communication and entertainment industries.
- Social payment for the unemployed
A compensation for the unemployed that lost their job as of March 15, 2020 of ANG 1,000 per month.
- Social payment for surviving
An additional compensation of ANG 450 for individuals that receive financial aid from Government. These individuals are also allowed to work when this is again possible.
- Financial assistance (loan facility) for micro, small and medium businesses
Under certain requirements, a loan (credit) facility will be introduced for these businesses in the sectors that have been highly affected up to ANG 100,000 with adapted conditions.
- Assistance to individuals and companies that provide with aid and care
- BONAIRE / SABA / ST. EUSTATIUS (BES islands)
Leniency with tax assessments, objection and payment procedures
The Tax Authorities initially indicated that they are willing to provide with postponement of payment upon request and are also considered with payment arrangements, if necessary. It was also announced on the website of the Tax Authorities that they will be lenient with tax assessments, objection and payment procedures of taxpayers that cannot comply with their obligations due to the virus.
Automatic extension for filing income tax returns
In addition, due to the coronavirus, they indicated that the deadline for filing the income tax returns (for individuals) of May 18, 2020 has been automatically extended to August 18, 2020. If the taxpayer expect to receive a refund when filing the income tax return, then the Tax Authorities request to file the return before May 18, 2020 for them to be able to proc4ess this before October 2020.
Facility wages and income loss
In addition, on April 1, 2020 it was announced that a facility for compensation (subsidy) was introduced for companies and individuals with retroactive effect to March 13, 2020 and will be applicable up to July 2021. The requests for compensation could be filed (with designated form) before 12 June 2020.
Upon request a compensation (subsidy) can be provided (up to max. 80% of the daily wages), considering certain conditions are met and that the revenue of the company decreased with at least 20% due to the COVID-19 crisis. Companies applying for this compensation will not obtain the (needed) permit to terminate employment and will have certain obligations to adhere to.
The self-employed (independent entrepreneurs) can also request a compensation up to 80% of the minimum wages, if they cannot afford the necessary costs of living and meet certain requirements.
Former employees and individuals with a zero-hours contract can also apply to receive a compensation up to max. 80% of the daily wages applicable on the termination date. For the zero-hours contract, the daily wages will be determined considering the wages of the last 13 weeks.
We trust to have informed you satisfactorily and will keep providing you with updates in due time. If more information is needed, or if you need further assistance or want to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has affected your business, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
We cordially invite you to explore the tool and see the global overview: